Adults with ADHD may have difficulty following directions, remembering information, concentrating, organizing tasks or completing work within time limits. If these difficulties are not managed appropriately, they can cause associated behavioral, emotional, social, vocational and academic problems. The following behaviors and problems may stem directly from ADHD or be the result of related adjustment difficulties.
- Chronic lateness and forgetfulness
- Low self-esteem
- Employment problems
- Difficulty controlling anger
- Substance abuse or addiction
- Disorganization - having difficulty organizing and keeping attention to tasks
- Low frustration tolerance
- Chronic boredom
- Difficulty concentrating when reading
- Mood swings
- Relationship problems
These behaviors may be mild to severe, and can vary with the situation or be present all of the time. Some adults with ADHD may be able to concentrate if they are interested in or excited about what they are doing, while others may have difficulty focusing under any circumstances. While some adults with ADHD look for stimulation, others avoid it, sometimes becoming isolated in their attempt to reduce the distress associated with over-stimulation.
Some adults with ADHD are negative when dealing with others, sometimes becoming withdrawn and even anti-social. Others may seem overly social, unable to be alone or sit quietly. Although most people don't outgrow ADHD, they do learn to adapt. If the difficulties associated with ADHD are managed appropriately throughout their lives, people with ADHD can learn to develop personal strengths and become productive and successful.
How we can help
In-depth assessment, treatment planning, medication management, individual therapy, education and family support are all necessary to help the adult with ADHD function in new ways and build his or her self-esteem. Because ADHD is often associated with other conditions (such as specific learning disabilities, anxiety and mood disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder and chemical dependency), in-depth assessment is the first step in developing a comprehensive, customized treatment plan.
An assessment at Cleveland Clinic includes:
- A review of childhood and academic history
- A thorough medical and family history
- Psychiatric examination
- Interviews with family members, if necessary
- Psychological testing, if necessary
- Assessment for chemical dependency, as needed
To schedule an appointment with the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, please call 216.636.5860 or 866.588.2264.